Embracing our Healing Through Truth, Compassion and Love by Trina Ramsey

May 13, 2024


Throughout my life, I have witnessed three generations of my family grapple with mental health challenges. This journey has been marked by feelings of shame, fear, and overwhelm. However, I have eventually come to embrace my own healing and the significance of resilience, compassion, and self-care. In this narrative, I will share the lessons I learned from accepting the truth, breaking my silence, and navigating the complex landscape of mental health.


At 14, I lost my mother to suicide, following her prolonged struggle with bipolar depression and schizophrenia. She was only 35, and my twin sisters were just seven years old. My mother, a brilliant, witty, and passionate woman, battled mental illness and suicidal ideation throughout much of my childhood.

My mother shared her diagnosis with me when I was 12, and I immediately took on the role of “mini-mom.” Helping alleviate my mother’s pain became my mission. I witnessed her ups and downs, which made me grow up fast and heightened my sense of responsibility for my younger sisters.

For most of my life, I’ve been adapting to my perceived role as a “superwoman.” However, I have come to recognize that the weight of the world is not solely on my shoulders. Self-care is just as important as caring for others.


I believe that God is watching over us always, and even our challenges are meant to support us. My favorite scripture is: All things work together for the good of those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28. 

This knowledge has helped me throughout my life. Although I went through some tragedies, there were other very real ways that God has shepherded my life all along. The tough times made me stronger and built in me a resilience and a sense of empathy that has fueled my journey.


I kept the truth hidden for many years. I didn’t talk about my mother’s life or death. Later on, I faced my sister’s and son’s mental health challenges.I have also been on my own healing journey, accepting the past and recognizing my mother’s story as that of a remarkable woman who had a difficult life. Her challenges didn’t diminish her brilliance or my love for her. Seeking therapy for myself was a crucial step. I am grateful that the stigma surrounding mental health is fading and people are now more open about sharing their stories.

It wasn’t until I was in my 40s that I finally began to give voice to my story. I spoke on stage for the first time when I was 48. I regularly write, speak and blog about these issues, and I’m working on a family memoir.  I’m documenting my journey through my medium blog, Brown Girl Lost: Exploring Mental Health as a Black Woman in America

This is what I’ve learned along the way: 

1 . Mental health conditions are nothing to be ashamed of. I realize now that there are many people who are also navigating mental health challenges. Life can be challenging at times, and it’s better to seek support than to suffer in silence. 

2. Acknowledge their struggles but avoid perceiving them as inferior:  When caring for a loved one, it’s important to recognize their challenges without viewing them as lesser or broken individuals. Coddling or pretending their difficulties are nonexistent doesn’t help them grow.

3. Balance compassion and accountability: While it can be difficult to hold accountable someone who is clearly in pain, it’s essential for their growth. Avoiding difficult conversations out of fear of discomfort or a lack of boldness doesn’t help them access the support they need.

4. Foster self-belief through your faith in them: Believing in your loved one’s potential opens up a space for them to believe in themselves. Your trust and support can empower them to overcome challenges and strive for personal growth.

5.  Sharing your story can support other people in their own journey and can help us to realize that we are not alone. These issues are more common than we realize. We can overcome shame or embarrassment by sharing our truths. I’m now on a mission to help to heal others by being more transparent myself.

6 . It’s crucial to get help for yourself while you are supporting your loved one. I cannot say enough about the support I got through the National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI) https://nami.org/Home They have support groups for people facing mental health challenges, as well as for their families. It was a Godsend for me to have this resource as my son was battling depression and anxiety during the pandemic.

7 . Don’t give up! There are dark times, but the sun will shine again. Life may be different, but it’s worth navigating the challenges, the health care system, and the red tape to help create change. At times I had to make phone calls over and over again, ask for different doctors or therapists if the ones that we were trying weren’t helping. It can be exhausting, but your loved one is worth it, and SO ARE YOU.


In closing, I want to emphasize the importance of self-care and compassion – for yourself and for your loved ones.  I encourage you to join the revolution to reclaim our mental health, take more naps, and get the support we need. 

Trina Ramsey: Empowering Women Leaders Journey From C-Suite Executive To Best-Selling Author And Coach

Here are some resources to support you along the way: 

Trina Ramsey is an executive coach, consultant, author and speaker who supports women and nonprofit leaders in living abundant and joyous lives. She lives in the San Francisco Bay area. Learn more about trina at https://trinaramsey.com/

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